An erupting prominence observed by SDO on 30 March 2010.
On 11 February, NASA launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a highly advanced spacecraft designed to study the Sun over a period of five years. Now the first images of solar activity have come back.
Ten times clearer than high-definition television, the images show details that have never been seen before in solar activity such as sunspots, surface activity and solar flares.
"These initial images show a dynamic sun that I had never seen in more than 40 years of solar research," said Richard Fisher, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, on the NASA website. "SDO will change our understanding of the sun and its processes, which affect our lives and society. This mission will have a huge impact on science, similar to the impact of the Hubble Space Telescope on modern astrophysics."
You can check out the full photo set and some videos here.
We know it's only chemistry that the Helium II loop is shortened to He II, but did anyone else have to do a double-take?